Category Archives: Inspiration

The New Definition of Tolerance and The Christian

A predominant word used in today’s politics and legal circles is “tolerance.” Tolerance is defined as:

“the ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular, the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

What does it mean to”tolerate something?” It means to:

allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of (something that one does not necessarily like or agree with) without interference.”

To tolerate different opinions should be in the heart of every American who understands that this country arose from the ashes of religious and civil intolerance in Europe.  The desire of the settlers of America was to create a nation of tolerance and acceptance because of their experience with intolerance in the “old country”.

During the Reformation era, as the Bible became more and more the source of faith for individual believers. it conflicted with the teachings of the powerful church in Europe and persecution soon followed. The followers of Jesus and the Bible during these tough times desired freedom of conscience and to worship without being claimed a heretic and facing death.   But, the ruling class and the powerful Roman Catholic church forbid any thoughts different than its own dogma and tradition.  Throughout, its history, the papacy leveraged the state to enforce its will upon the masses.  Millions died who were not “tolerated” by the church/state.  These people were not “allowed to exist” because of their Biblical views.  The history of persecution and death from the papacy over the controversy of who should be the final source of truth (Jesus or the Pope) is the classic definition of intolerance.  Millions of dissenters from the church were destroyed because the Pope did not want them to exist.

“From the birth of Popery in 606 AD to the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more than fifty millions of the human family, have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand religious murders for every year of the existence of popery.”

— “History of Romanism,” pp. 541, 542. New York: 1871.

The founders of America wanted a nation without a pope or a king.  Why?  Because they desired all views to be tolerated or allowed to exist, particularly Christian Biblical views.  

Of course, to have a nation like this, the Christians would have to live by their own words and “tolerate” other worldviews they did not agree with and allow their existence and practice in this new nation.

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Does Disagreement With Someone’s Religion or World View Necessarily Mean They are Intolerant?

If we understand the word “intolerant” and the history of “intolerance” we know the answer to this question to be “No.” The deciding factor to turning the answer into a “Yes” is the actions taken by those with the power to force the dissenter to either not exist or to persecute them in some way.

The Christian who believes that Jesus is the only truth and does not accept a different view is not intolerant in their beliefs any more than the Muslim who feels the same way about Mohammed, but it becomes intolerance when one of the groups persecutes the other.

The apostle Paul expressed the concept of “tolerance” in the great love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 when he said,

“Love suffers long and is kind….endures all things.”

1 Corinthians 13: 4,7

To disagree with someone’s religion or political views is not intolerance unless they persecute. Without a doubt, a follower of Christ must be tolerant, but at the same time, there is put within the heart of the Christian to make known the truth as found in Christ.


“♦…today a new definition of tolerance is systematically being foisted upon the minds of all people.  As an example, Thomas A Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, states, ‘The definition of new tolerance is that every individual’s beliefs, lifestyle, and perception of truth claims are equal…Your beliefs and my beliefs are equal, and all truth is relative.”

So the modern historically uninformed college student who is encouraged to erase and rewrite “bad history,”  seeks to adopt an exaggerated form of tolerance where all philosophies and word views are equal. I can’t help but think of the words of a classic rock song,

“Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”-Buffalo Springfield, For What It’s Worth.”

It the context of an equal and relative truth these lyrics could also read,

Nobody’s wrong if everybody’s right.

But, here is the immediate danger in this new definition of tolerance….the real truth, becomes lost or eliminated if we obtain truth by our feelings and whatever we desire it to be.  Under this thinking of relative truth, everybody is right!

♦The misconception about relative truth assumes that truth is inclusive, that it gathers under its wings claims that oppose each other. The fact, however, is that all truth is exclusive---at least to some degree---for it must exclude as false that which is not true.

For instance, it is true that Washington D.C. is the capital city of the United State of America. This means that no other city in the United States is that country's capital. In fact, no other city on planet Earth or anywhere in the universe can lay legitimate claim to being the capital city of the United States. One city and one only fits the bill and that's Washington D.C.

Simply because just one city is the United States' capital does not mean that the people who affirm this truth are therefore intolerant.  They may like scores of other cities and even live in different cities themselves.  They may even live in different countries and prefer their country to America.  Accepting the exclusive truth claim about Washington D.C. does not make a person tolerant or intolerant---it simply makes him or her correct about what the capital city of the United States is.

The same is true about Christianity.  If the claims of the Christian faith are true---and many people accept them as true---these people are no more intolerant for their belief than those people who accept Washington D.C. as the United States capital. They are either correct or mistaken about how God has revealed Himself in the world.

The main problem with the all-inclusive view of truth is that it also stifles the follower of this philosophy to seek the truth. The Christian will tell you that the source of truth is found in God’s word and in the life of Jesus.  To test this or any other claimant of truth must have a starting place.  That origin of entry for truth must be historical with eyewitnesses accounts and proof that the truth works on a practical plain.

For more information, the study of different philosophical claims of different religions, click here: Will the Real God Please Stand Up?-An Overview


Jesus claimed,

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 14:6

He made many other claims. He clearly stated  that the Tanakh (Old Testament) was about Him:

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

John 5:39

He explained to the uninformed and misunderstanding disciples how the Tanakh “testified of Him.”

Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me. And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Luke 24: 44, 45

But many people are afraid to “Search the Scripture” to see if what He claims is true or not.  Why?  The only reason can be FEAR.

Fear of being wrong. Because of pride, people resist admission of having the wrong idea, philosophy, or worldview.

Fear of Change or lifestyle.  They reason their life won’t be as fun and enjoyable.

Fear of Accountability.  Things they practice may have consequences.

Fear of Losing Friends.  Accepting truth may push away friends and family.


It was these types of fears and misconceptions about tolerance that kept the people of Noah’s time from getting on the boat and saving their lives.  In the end, failing to pursue truth regardless of what one might think to be truth will keep many from eternal life as promised by God and Jesus Christ.

Nothing has changed since the days of Noah.  People continue to avoid pursuit of truth because of fear.

And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man:

Luke 17:6

To conclude this short discussion on tolerance and its relationship to truth, an appropriate story (from the book, Great Controversy) about the pursuit of truth comes from a man called Gaussen who was influenced by the prevailing truth of the day (18th and 19th century) i.e. rationalism.  It is defined as:

a belief or theory that opinions and actions should be based on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response.

But, he studied about Jesus and the prophecies…then his life changed.  He wanted to tell the adults in his part of the world about what he discovered in the Bible but found them resistant, so he taught the children to see if they could understand the information.  The results were unexpected.

Many today claim to be tolerant and have an open mind.  There is no human with a mind more open than a child.  Jesus knew this when he said,

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3

♦As he (Gaussen) pursued his investigation of the prophecies he arrived at the belief that the coming of the Lord was at hand.  Impressed with the solemnity and importance of this great truth, he desired to bring it before the people; but the popular belief that the prophecies of Daniel are mysteries and cannot be understood was a serious obstacle in his way.  He finally determined—as Farel—had done before him in evangelizing Geneva—to begin with the children, through whom he hoped to interest the parents.

“I desire this to be understood,” he afterward said, speaking of his object in this undertaking.  “it is not because of its small importance, but on the contrary because of its great value, that I wished to present it in this familiar form, and that I addressed it to the children. I desired to be heard, and I feared that I would not be if I addressed myself to the grown people first.”  “I determined, therefore, to go to the youngest, I gather an audience of children; if the group enlarges, if it is seen that they listen, are pleased, interested, that they understand and explain the subject, I am sure to have a second circle soon, and in their turn, grown people will see that it is worth their while to sit down and study.  When this is done, the cause is gained,” I. Gaussen, Daniel The Prophet, vol. 2, Preface

The effort was successful.  As he addressed the children, older persons came to listen.  The galleries of his church were filled with attentive hearers. Among them were men of rank and learning, and strangers and foreigners visiting Geneva, and thus the message was carried to other parts.

The understanding of God’s word is simple— provided the person is willing to pursue truth no matter where it leads and with an open mind free of preconceived ideas.  Fear will be replaced with joy and confidence.  But a person will never know unless they start…they will never receive from God if they desire their own pleasures.

You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

James 4:3

The new definition of tolerance (all ideas are equal and true and therefore should be accepted) is false.  To believe the truth found in God’s word and the exclusive claims of Christianity is not intolerance.   A true follower of Christ will demonstrate acceptance of the person in love but reject what they know to be false and dangerous to that person.  They will encourage the pursuit of truth out of love and no other reason.

In modern America, the country of religious freedom, it is the founders of tolerance (Followers of Jesus) who are now being forced through legal actions to accept the beliefs of people they know to be in error.  The courts want to control the beliefs of Christians regarding sex and their worldview. This is persecution. No other religion is being sued and harassed as are Christians.  So, I end with this question.  Who are the people who are intolerant?  Who hates those who don’t accept their beliefs? Who desires for the other group to not exist?

Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake.

Luke 6:22

The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil

John 7:7

The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell

 

 

 

The Wisest Will Search For Him

Wise men journey

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Matthew 2:1-3

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Our journey has been difficult.  We have fought sand storms, cold, and that never-ending heat! My back aches from the rocking motion of my camel.  It is like riding on a slow-moving boat pushed back and forth continually by repetitive and stern ocean waves.  But, I am sure our inconveniences will be rewarded! We have put our hearts and time into this journey, because we are certain of the prophecies from the ancient scrolls.

The camels have done well, but like us, they enjoy the breaks we often take and the people we meet along the way.  When we pass through the many villages, the beasts become the center of attention for the children who try to feed them hay and anything else they can find.

The adults are filled with questions about our journey and our destination.  They want to know where we come from.  Their wide eyes reveal they are impressed with the distance we have traveled.  We are glad to share with them the news of the Messiah and what we know from the ancient scrolls.  Some consider us crazy, but many listen and wish they could go with us.  They call it an adventure, but we know it is more…much more.

Night time is my favorite part of the day because of the brightness of the star in the east and the peace that comes from the quiet, disturbed only by the crackling fire and the occasional snort of a tired camel.  The star is a constant reminder of the accuracy of the scrolls and a confirmation of our journey.  Many people we have met have seen the unusually bright star in the east and wondered.  They don’t know what it means but are comforted by its beauty and marvel that its magnificence is not diminished by the light of day.  When we started, it was low on the horizon, but it is rising and become brighter as we have drawn nearer to our destination, Bethlehem!

I lean back on the saddle I have used as a pillow and enjoy the warmth of the fire.  I am warm and content.  My journal and mind are filling up with my notes.  I make this entry under the light from the twinkling star-lit night.

Now, we are only one day out from Jerusalem.  We hope to visit King Herod and celebrate with him the coming of the Messiah.  The town is surely busy with activity and celebration even though it has taken us many months to get this far.

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Our anticipation grows so much that we wake in the clearness of the night so we can arrive in Jerusalem early in the morning to seek audience with the king before we head off to Bethlehem only about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to the south of the capital city.

So I rise with the others, full of energy.  We mount our ships of the desert, who match our excitement to start moving again.  This is going to be a good day! I can feel it!

The night is cold and the star brighter than ever!  We hear music in the distance.  As we approach the outskirts of Jerusalem, we are greeted by shepherds watching over their sheep.  With wonder in their eyes, they run up to our caravan and ask us the usual questions about us, our destination, and home.

I tell them the story of our journey and our wish to see the new baby king.  They are polite and respectful and let us speak first. When we have a pause, they begin to talk fast and together as if they will burst if their words are not heard.  Wonder and curiosity force us to quickly dismount our camels and gather around them.  They calm themselves and begin to talk one at a time.   Then begins their beautiful story of the night’s events when the Messiah was born.

We were in the field at night when we heard the sound of singing and joy and there was light all around us that lit up the countryside like it was daytime….only brighter.

Then the next one speaks with equal intensity.“We were afraid! I turned my eyes toward the ground”

A third young man, a little older says,“The brightness was coming from an angel who told us to fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”

The angel told us to go to the city of David where we would find Christ the Lord and we would find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.”

Another one talks before the older one finishes,”The music continued and many more angels appeared high in the night sky!”

It is starting to come all together for me.  The older boy exclaims with confidence, “That star you have followed are angels.  They began to sing again as your caravan approached us.”

The youngest one blurts out, “After the angels appeared to us, we left our flocks and raced towards Bethlehem.  There we found a woman by the name of Mary and her husband Joseph and there in a manger was the baby they call Jesus.”

My heart pounds faster as I realize we now know the name of the king!  His name is Jesus!

Their eyes are bright and they all nod their heads in agreement when the older shepherd boy slows down his words and says with tears in his eyes. “Our hearts are changed! We can’t stop talking about that night and the baby Jesus.  We have told everyone!  Even Mary rejoiced at our story!”

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The visit with the young men has inspired and energized us!  We have also learned the name of the mother and father. It is an easier climb back on my camel.  Our strength has been renewed as well as our urgency to get to Bethlehem.  The music and praise in the heavens grow louder and brighter even as the yellow and orange of the sunrise pull us toward Jerusalem and King Herod.

We arrive in Jerusalem by mid-morning. The smell of food awakens our hunger. But, our great desire to see the king as soon as possible overrides all our other senses.

There is a crowd to meet us.  It is easy to notice they are not like the excited shepherds.  They are curious and seem afraid and worried.  Maybe it is our large caravan and the way we look.  Our skin and clothes are different.

We finally arrive at the king’s palace and request an audience with him.  To my surprise, we are immediately invited in.  A few of us go and the others mix with the growing crowd outside telling them of our journey and the new story from the shepherds which they had already heard.  And of course, the children ask many questions and try to feed the camels.

The king reflects the same aura as the people outside.  He looks concerned.  For a moment I wonder if we made a mistake coming here.

I am the first one to speak.

In my excitement, I blurt out words without considering that I am talking to a king.

“Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”

I begin to think this was not a good question and statement…asking a reigning king about a king that will rule the Jews in the future.  The king struggles to stay polite and excuses himself.  We can hear him calling all his wise men and priests together, who were standing close by.  He tries to whisper so we can’t hear, but the cold palace lets his voice carry easily through its halls.

He is angry and demands they tell him where this Christ would be born.  We hear them quote the same scrolls we studied before and after we left on our long journey.  The word “Bethlehem” is heard clearly.

We look at each other with the same surprise.  They have taken the words of their ancient prophets so lightly.  I feel foreboding and regret rising up as the king invites us back into his private chambers.

A forced smile appears on his troubled face. He apologizes for not being more hospitable and invites us to have some food and something to drink.  I am uncomfortable.  The meeting is uncomfortable.  We politely eat some of the food even though our hunger is of a different sort.

He asks about our trip and we tell him about our long journey, the star in the east, and the shepherds we met just outside of town.  We sense we should not be telling the king anything and look for an excuse to leave quickly.

Then he asks us a question he was eager to know.  It seemed to be the main reason for his talking with us hinged on this question.

“When was it you first saw the star and began the journey ?”

Reluctantly, I tell him it has been almost two years.  He then says in almost a whisper and an evil voice,

“Go and search for him and when you find him, bring him here to the palace that I might worship him too.”

With a jump and quick turn around, he immediately leaves us and disappears back into the palace.

The attendant escorts us back to our caravan and the crowd that has gathered. We never expected to have such a greeting.  I along with my friends have become suspicious and concerned.  We are glad to get back on our camels and back to following the star which has turned us south towards the sleepy little village of Bethlehem.

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The sun has risen fast.  It waits for no one.  We continue our journey south towards Bethlehem.  It is a short distance, but we travel slowly enjoying the final leg of our journey.  It will be dark before we arrive.

The excitement of seeing the new king of the Jews comes back to our hearts as we travel along silently contemplating the events of last night and this morning.  The crowds have disappeared.

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There before us, lies the twinkling lights of the little city of Bethlehem!  The star is just above the peaceful town shining its clear light and casting shadows on the surrounding hillside. How beautiful it is! We feel happiness and express our joy and congratulations to each other.  A journey of hundreds of miles has brought us to this moment! A small group of people comes to greet us at the entrance to the village.  We ask for Mary and Joseph.

The star is almost directly overhead, as a sweet girl escorts us to a tiny house near the edge of town.

Dismounting our camels, we hear the music again far up in the night sky.  Mary greets us at the door as we crowd into the small clean home.

We feel the presence of royalty as the young toddler Jesus walks into the room.  Emotions overcome us and we fall down and worship the child we know to be the fulfillment of thousands of years of prophecy.  We have seen him in all the scrolls of the Jews many times.  The face of God is in his! We can sense a power that searches our hearts. Many of us weep and then gather ourselves so we can give our gifts.

We bring in our offerings of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and we celebrate our time with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.  They make our visit enjoyable and pleasant.  We spend the night laughing and playing with little Jesus.  I take him up in my arms and show him the camels.  They are calm and peaceful as Jesus reaches out and touches them.  He wants to touch all of them!  Never before have I see such a face as the One who looks at me.  The others demand their time to hold him, so  I pass him to the other men.  I still feel his warmth in my arms and on my chest.  The journey has been worth every step and more.  My heart wants to burst with joy!  I feel alive!

The rest of the night is spent talking and eating. Too soon,  our time with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus is finished. Before we leave we ask for permission to anoint Jesus with more gifts we brought. It is a special moment when we place the sweet smell upon the head of Jesus as he sits in his mother’s lap.  We are content and feel the presence of God in the room and in the sparkling eyes of the little king.

I am in wonder about why more people do not understand, that here before us is Immanuel (God with us)! This little boy will grow up to save the world from eternal death!  He will pay the penalty that we deserve and teach us spiritual things about the kingdom of God!  It is all in the ancient scrolls!

We wish to stay, but feel we must begin our journey back.  We promise to return when the child is older.  We know from the writings of the prophet Daniel, that the young child will live to be only about 30 years old and then he will sacrifice himself for the sins of the people and rise on the third day to show his power over the clutches of the grave and death.

Our wish is to return when he is older, but in the meantime, we pledge among ourselves to share, in our homeland, the good news of the birth of Jesus.  We will begin to tell our story with those we will meet along the way back to our home in the west.

We say our good-byes to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph and begin to head back north.

I am stopped in my tracks as I begin to consider our strange visit with King Herod.

We decide to take a different path home and head east instead of North.  The king is up to some evil and we don’t want to help him in any way.  We probably made a mistake visiting him and giving him information about the approximate age of the baby Jesus.  It is an unfortunate turn of events. We are going to miss the young shepherd boys on the way back.  I was looking forward to telling them of our visit.

The star is gone as we begin our travel home.  We stop to rest when we feel we have put some distance between us and King Herod.  Around the fire, we talk about our great journey and look again at scripture.  We come across a disturbing message from the prophet Jeremiah:

Thus says the Lord:
“A voice is heard in Ramah,
    lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
    she refuses to be comforted for her children,
    because they are no more.”

Jeremiah 31:15

Soon the voices and the fire go out and we sleep…exhausted from excitement and the sleep we missed,I can feel the warmth of my camel next to me. The trip home will be long, but it will go fast as we tell the wonderful story of Jesus along the way.

Later, the next day, we hear the news and fulfillment of that passage in Jeremiah that troubled us.  King Herod had all the male children 2 years old and younger killed.  What a cruel and foolish man!

We also got news that Joseph was warned of Herod’s intention and our friends Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus escaped to the safety of Egypt.

After Herod died a few years later, Joseph took his family to a little town called Nazareth.

More fulfillment of the ancient scrolls:

“And out of Egypt, I called my son.”

Hosea 11:1

Our journey to find Jesus was long and difficult, but we have been transformed by it. The scrolls, the star, the shepherds even the evil king Herod has made us wiser. But most of all, it has made us a believer in Jesus.

We will continue to study the ancient scrolls because now that we have seen Jesus ourselves, we can see Him in every story told there.

So many scrolls to read, so little time.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

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My friends, join me in a Christmas worship of the One who gave all that we might have all.  Let us fall on our knees this night as we think about the birth of Jesus and the visit of men who were seeking Him.  They found Him!  Have you?

Click here for a beautiful video and song:

Oh Holy Night!

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For additional study:

Jesus’  first coming was predicted in hundreds of Old Testament writings!

The one prophecy that pinpoints the exact time of His coming which helped in the wise men’s timing of their journey and a brief outline of his life, death, and ministry is found in Daniel 9.  To know more about this prophecy, click here:  http://www.answersfromscriptureonline.com/2017/11/19/daniel-revelation-part-6-longest-time-prophecy/

353 prophecies about the first coming of Christ are below. Much more concerning his second coming…will discuss in future posts.

Scripture

Prophecy

Fulfillment

1. Gen. 3:15 Seed of a woman (virgin birth) Galatians 4:4-5Matthew 1:18
2. Gen. 3:15 He will bruise Satan’s head Hebrews 2:141John 3:8
3. Gen. 3:15 Christ’s heel would be bruised with nails on the cross Matthew 27:35Luke 24:39-40
4. Gen. 5:24 The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated Mark 16:19, Rev. 12:5
5. Gen. 9:26, 27 The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem Luke 3:23-36
6. Gen. 12:3 Seed of Abraham will bless all nations Galatians 3:8Acts 3:2526
7. Gen. 12:7 The Promise made to Abraham’s Seed Galatians 3:16
8. Gen. 14:18 A priest after the order of Melchizedek Hebrews 6:20
9. Gen. 14:18 King of Peace and Righteousness Hebrews 7:2
10. Gen. 14:18 The Last Supper foreshadowed Matthew 26:26-29
11. Gen. 17:19 Seed of Isaac (Gen. 21:12) Romans 9:7
12. Gen. 22:8 The Lamb of God promised John 1:29
13. Gen. 22:18 As Isaac’s seed, will bless all nations Galatians 3:16
14. Gen. 26:2-5 The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer Hebrews 11:18
15. Gen. 28:12 The Bridge to heaven John 1:51
16. Gen. 28:14 The Seed of Jacob Luke 3:34
17. Gen. 49:10 The time of His coming Luke 2:1-7; Galatians 4:4
18. Gen. 49:10 The Seed of Judah Luke 3:33
19. Gen. 49:10 Called Shiloh or One Sent John 17:3
20. Gen. 49:10 Messiah to come before Judah lost identity John 11:47-52
21. Gen. 49:10 Unto Him shall the obedience of the people be John 10:16
22. Ex. 3:13-15 The Great “I AM” John 4:268:58
23. Ex. 12:3-6 The Lamb presented to Israel 4 days before Passover Mark 11:7-11
24. Ex. 12:5 A Lamb without blemish Hebrews 9:141Peter 1:19
25. Ex. 12:13 The blood of the Lamb saves from wrath Romans 5:8
26. Ex. 12:21-27 Christ is our Passover 1Corinthians 5:7
27. Ex. 12:46 Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken John 19:31-36
28. Ex. 15:2 His exaltation predicted as Yeshua Acts 7:5556
29. Ex. 15:11 His Character-Holiness Luke 1:35Acts 4:27
30. Ex. 17:6 The Spiritual Rock of Israel 1Corinthians 10:4
31. Ex. 33:19 His Character-Merciful Luke 1:72
32. Lev. 1:2-9 His sacrifice a sweet smelling savor unto God Ephesians 5:2
33. Lev. 14:11 The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood Luke 5:12-14Acts 6:7
34. Lev. 16:15-17 Prefigures Christ’s once-for-all death Hebrews 9:7-14
35. Lev. 16:27 Suffering outside the Camp Matthew 27:33Heb. 13:1112
36. Lev. 17:11 The Blood-the life of the flesh Matthew 26:28Mark 10:45
37. Lev. 17:11 It is the blood that makes atonement Rom. 3:23-241John 1:7
38. Lev. 23:36-37 The Drink-offering: “If any man thirst” John 7:37
39. Num. 9:12 Not a bone of Him broken John 19:31-36
40. Num. 21:9 The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up John 3:14-1812:32
41. Num. 24:17 Time: “I shall see him, but not now.” John 1:14Galatians 4:4
42. Deut. 18:15 “This is of a truth that prophet.” John 6:14
43. Deut. 18:15-16 “Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me.” John 5:45-47
44. Deut. 18:18 Sent by the Father to speak His word John 8:2829
45. Deut. 18:19 Whoever will not hear must bear his sin Acts 3:22-23
46. Deut. 21:23 Cursed is he that hangs on a tree Galatians 3:10-13
47. Joshua 5:14-15 The Captain of our salvation Hebrews 2:10
48. Ruth 4:4-10 Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us Ephesians 1:3-7
49. 1 Sam. 2:35 A Faithful Priest Heb. 2:173:1-367:24-25
50. 1 Sam. 2:10 Shall be an anointed King to the Lord Mt. 28:18John 12:15
51. 2 Sam. 7:12 David’s Seed Matthew 1:1
52. 2 Sam. 7:13 His Kingdom is everlasting 2Peter 1:11
53. 2 Sam. 7:14 The Son of God Luke 1:32Romans 1:3-4
54. 2 Sam. 7:16 David’s house established forever Luke 3:31Rev. 22:16
55. 2 Ki. 2:11 The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated Luke 24:51
56. 1 Chr. 17:11 David’s Seed Matthew 1:19:27
57. 1 Chr. 17:12-13 To reign on David’s throne forever Luke 1:3233
58. 1 Chr. 17:13 “I will be His Father, He…my Son.” Hebrews 1:5
59. Job 9:32-33 Mediator between man and God 1 Timothy 2:5
60. Job 19:23-27 The Resurrection predicted John 5:24-29
61. Psa. 2:1-3 The enmity of kings foreordained Acts 4:25-28
62. Psa. 2:2 To own the title, Anointed (Christ) John 1:41Acts 2:36
63. Psa. 2:6 His Character-Holiness John 8:46Revelation 3:7
64. Psa. 2:6 To own the title King Matthew 2:2
65. Psa. 2:7 Declared the Beloved Son Matthew 3:17Romans 1:4
66. Psa. 2:78 The Crucifixion and Resurrection intimated Acts 13:29-33
67. Psa. 2:89 Rule the nations with a rod of iron Rev. 2:2712:519:15
68. Psa. 2:12 Life comes through faith in Him John 20:31
69. Psa. 8:2 The mouths of babes perfect His praise Matthew 21:16
70. Psa. 8:56 His humiliation and exaltation Hebrews 2:5-9
71. Psa. 9:7-10 Judge the world in righteousness Acts 17:31
72. Psa. 16:10 Was not to see corruption Acts 2:3113:35
73. Psa. 16:9-11 Was to arise from the dead John 20:9
74. Psa. 17:15 The resurrection predicted Luke 24:6
75. Psa. 18:2-3 The horn of salvation Luke 1:69-71
76. Psa. 22:1 Forsaken because of sins of others 2 Corinthians 5:21
77. Psa. 22:1 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46
78. Psa. 22:2 Darkness upon Calvary for three hours Matthew 27:45
79. Psa. 22:7 They shoot out the lip and shake the head Matthew 27:39-44
80. Psa. 22:8 “He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him” Matthew 27:43
81. Psa. 22:9-10 Born the Saviour Luke 2:7
82. Psa. 22:12-13 They seek His death John 19:6
83. Psa. 22:14 His blood poured out when they pierced His side John 19:34
84. Psa. 22:1415 Suffered agony on Calvary Mark 15:34-37
85. Psa. 22:15 He thirsted John 19:28
86. Psa. 22:16 They pierced His hands and His feet John 19:343720:27
87. Psa. 22:1718 Stripped Him before the stares of men Luke 23:3435
88. Psa. 22:18 They parted His garments John 19:2324
89. Psa. 22:2021 He committed Himself to God Luke 23:46
90. Psa. 22:2021 Satanic power bruising the Redeemer’s heel Hebrews 2:14
91. Psa. 22:22 His Resurrection declared John 20:17
92. Psa. 22:27-28 He shall be the governor of the nations Colossians 1:16
93. Psa. 22:31 “It is finished” John 19:30Heb. 10:10121418
94. Psa. 23:1 “I am the Good Shepherd” John 10:111Peter 2:25
95. Psa. 24:3 His exaltation predicted Acts 1:11Philippians 2:9
96. Psa. 30:3 His resurrection predicted Acts 2:32
97. Psa. 31:5 “Into thy hands I commit my spirit” Luke 23:46
98. Psa. 31:11 His acquaintances fled from Him Mark 14:50
99. Psa. 31:13 They took counsel to put Him to death Mt. 27:1John 11:53
100. Psa. 31:1415 “He trusted in God, let Him deliver him” Matthew 27:43
101. Psa. 34:20 Not a bone of Him broken John 19:31-36
102. Psa. 35:11 False witnesses rose up against Him Matthew 26:59
103. Psa. 35:19 He was hated without a cause John 15:25
104. Psa. 38:11 His friends stood afar off Luke 23:49
105. Psa. 38:12 Enemies try to entangle Him by craft Mark 14:1Mt. 22:15
106. Psa. 38:12-13 Silent before His accusers Matthew 27:12-14
107. Psa. 38:20 He went about doing good Acts 10:38
108. Psa. 40:2-5 The joy of His resurrection predicted John 20:20
109. Psa. 40:6-8 His delight-the will of the Father John 4:34Heb. 10:5-10
110. Psa. 40:9 He was to preach the Righteousness in Israel Matthew 4:17
111. Psa. 40:14 Confronted by adversaries in the Garden John 18:4-6
112. Psa. 41:9 Betrayed by a familiar friend John 13:18
113. Psa. 45:2 Words of Grace come from His lips John 1:17Luke 4:22
114. Psa. 45:6 To own the title, God or Elohim Hebrews 1:8
115. Psa. 45:7 A special anointing by the Holy Spirit Mt. 3:16Heb. 1:9
116. Psa. 45:78 Called the Christ (Messiah or Anointed) Luke 2:11
117. Psa. 45:17 His name remembered forever Ephesians 1:20-21Heb. 1:8
118. Psa. 55:12-14 Betrayed by a friend, not an enemy John 13:18
119. Psa. 55:15 Unrepentant death of the Betrayer Matthew 27:3-5Acts 1:16-19
120. Psa. 68:18 To give gifts to men Ephesians 4:7-16
121. Psa. 68:18 Ascended into Heaven Luke 24:51
122. Psa. 69:4 Hated without a cause John 15:25
123. Psa. 69:8 A stranger to own brethren John 1:117:5
124. Psa. 69:9 Zealous for the Lord’s House John 2:17
125. Psa. 69:14-20 Messiah’s anguish of soul before crucifixion Matthew 26:36-45
126. Psa. 69:20 “My soul is exceeding sorrowful.” Matthew 26:38
127. Psa. 69:21 Given vinegar in thirst Matthew 27:34
128. Psa. 69:26 The Saviour given and smitten by God John 17:418:11
129. Psa. 72:1011 Great persons were to visit Him Matthew 2:1-11
130. Psa. 72:16 The corn of wheat to fall into the Ground John 12:24-25
131. Psa. 72:17 Belief on His name will produce offspring John 1:1213
132. Psa. 72:17 All nations shall be blessed by Him Galatians 3:8
133. Psa. 72:17 All nations shall call Him blessed John 12:13Rev. 5:8-12
134. Psa. 78:1-2 He would teach in parables Matthew 13:34-35
135. Psa. 78:2 To speak the Wisdom of God with authority Matthew 7:29
136. Psa. 80:17 The Man of God’s right hand Mark 14:61-62
137. Psa. 88 The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary Matthew 27:26-50
138. Psa. 88:8 They stood afar off and watched Luke 23:49
139. Psa. 89:27 Firstborn Colossians 1:1518
140. Psa. 89:27 Emmanuel to be higher than earthly kings Luke 1:3233
141. Psa. 89:35-37 David’s Seed, throne, kingdom endure forever Luke 1:3233
142. Psa. 89:36-37 His character-Faithfulness Revelation 1:519:11
143. Psa. 90:2 He is from everlasting (Micah 5:2) John 1:1
144. Psa. 91:1112 Identified as Messianic; used to tempt Christ Luke 4:1011
145. Psa. 97:9 His exaltation predicted Acts 1:11Ephesians 1:20
146. Psa. 100:5 His character-Goodness Matthew 19:1617
147. Psa. 102:1-11 The Suffering and Reproach of Calvary John 19:16-30
148. Psa. 102:25-27 Messiah is the Preexistent Son Hebrews 1:10-12
149. Psa. 109:25 Ridiculed Matthew 27:39
150. Psa. 110:1 Son of David Matthew 22:42-43
151. Psa. 110:1 To ascend to the right-hand of the Father Mark 16:19
152. Psa. 110:1 David’s son called Lord Matthew 22:4445
153. Psa. 110:4 A priest after Melchizedek’s order Hebrews 6:20
154. Psa. 112:4 His character-Compassionate, Gracious, et al Matthew 9:36
155. Psa. 118:1718 Messiah’s Resurrection assured Luke 24:5-71Cor. 15:20
156. Psa. 118:2223 The rejected stone is Head of the corner Matthew 21:4243
157. Psa. 118:26 The Blessed One presented to Israel Matthew 21:9
158. Psa. 118:26 To come while Temple standing Matthew 21:12-15
159. Psa. 132:11 The Seed of David (the fruit of His Body) Luke 1:32Act 2:30
160. Psa. 129:3 He was scourged Matthew 27:26
161. Psa. 138:1-6 The supremacy of David’s Seed amazes kings Matthew 2:2-6
162. Psa. 147:36 The earthly ministry of Christ described Luke 4:18
163. Prov. 1:23 He will send the Spirit of God John 16:7
164. Prov. 8:23 Foreordained from everlasting Rev. 13:81Peter 1:19-20
165. Song. 5:16 The altogether lovely One John 1:17
166. Isa. 2:3 He shall teach all nations John 4:25
167. Isa. 2:4 He shall judge among the nations John 5:22
168. Isa. 6:1 When Isaiah saw His glory John 12:40-41
169. Isa. 6:8 The One Sent by God John 12:38-45
170. Isa. 6:9-10 Parables fall on deaf ears Matthew 13:13-15
171. Isa. 6:9-12 Blinded to Christ and deaf to His words Acts 28:23-29
172. Isa. 7:14 To be born of a virgin Luke 1:35
173. Isa. 7:14 To be Emmanuel-God with us Matthew 1:18-231Tim. 3:16
174. Isa. 8:8 Called Emmanuel Matthew 28:20
175. Isa. 8:14 A stone of stumbling, a Rock of offense 1Peter 2:8
176. Isa. 9:12 His ministry to begin in Galilee Matthew 4:12-17
177. Isa. 9:6 A child born-Humanity Luke 1:31
178. Isa. 9:6 A Son given-Deity Luke 1:32John 1:141Tim. 3:16
179. Isa. 9:6 Declared to be the Son of God with power Romans 1:34
180. Isa. 9:6 The Wonderful One, Peleh Luke 4:22
181. Isa. 9:6 The Counsellor, Yaatz Matthew 13:54
182. Isa. 9:6 The Mighty God, El Gibor 1Cor. 1:24Titus 2:13
183. Isa. 9:6 The Everlasting Father, Avi Adth John 8:5810:30
184. Isa. 9:6 The Prince of Peace, Sar Shalom John 16:33
185. Isa. 9:7 Inherits the throne of David Luke 1:32
186. Isa. 9:7 His Character-Just John 5:30
187. Isa. 9:7 No end to his Government, Throne, and kingdom Luke 1:33
188. Isa. 11:1 Called a Nazarene-the Branch, Netzer Matthew 2:23
189. Isa. 11:1 A rod out of Jesse-Son of Jesse Luke 3:2332
190. Isa. 11:2 Anointed One by the Spirit Matthew 3:1617Acts 10:38
191. Isa. 11:2 His Character-Wisdom, Knowledge, et al Colossians 2:3
192. Isa. 11:3 He would know their thoughts Luke 6:8John 2:25
193. Isa. 11:4 Judge in righteousness Acts 17:31
194. Isa. 11:4 Judges with the sword of His mouth Rev. 2:1619:1115
195. Isa. 11:5 Character: Righteous & Faithful Rev. 19:11
196. Isa. 11:10 The Gentiles seek Him John 12:18-21
197. Isa. 12:2 Called Jesus-Yeshua Matthew 1:21
198. Isa. 22:22 The One given all authority to govern Revelation 3:7
199. Isa. 25:8 The Resurrection predicted 1Corinthians 15:54
200. Isa. 26:19 His power of Resurrection predicted Matthew 27:50-54
201. Isa. 28:16 The Messiah is the precious corner stone Acts 4:1112
202. Isa. 28:16 The Sure Foundation 1Corinthians 3:11Mt. 16:18
203. Isa. 29:13 He indicated hypocritical obedience to His Word Matthew 15:7-9
204. Isa. 29:14 The wise are confounded by the Word 1Corinthians 1:18-31
205. Isa. 32:2 A Refuge-A man shall be a hiding place Matthew 23:37
206. Isa. 35:4 He will come and save you Matthew 1:21
207. Isa. 35:5-6 To have a ministry of miracles Matthew 11:2-6
208. Isa. 40:34 Preceded by forerunner John 1:23
209. Isa. 40:9 “Behold your God.” John 1:3619:14
210. Isa. 40:10. He will come to reward Revelation 22:12
211. Isa. 40:11 A shepherd-compassionate life-giver John 10:10-18
212. Isa. 42:1-4 The Servant-as a faithful, patient redeemer Matthew 12:18-21
213. Isa. 42:2 Meek and lowly Matthew 11:28-30
214. Isa. 42:3 He brings hope for the hopeless Mt. 12:14-21John 4:1-54
215. Isa. 42:4 The nations shall wait on His teachings John 12:20-26
216. Isa. 42:6 The Light (salvation) of the Gentiles Luke 2:32
217. Isa. 42:16 His is a worldwide compassion Matthew 28:1920
218. Isa. 42:7 Blind eyes opened. John 9:25-38
219. Isa. 43:11 He is the only Saviour. Acts 4:12
220. Isa. 44:3 He will send the Spirit of God John 16:713
221. Isa. 45:21-25 He is Lord and Saviour Philippians 3:20Titus 2:13
222. Isa. 45:23 He will be the Judge John 5:22Romans 14:11
223. Isa. 46:910 Declares things not yet done John 13:19
224. Isa. 48:12 The First and the Last John 1:30Revelation 1:817
225. Isa. 48:1617 He came as a Teacher John 3:2
226. Isa. 49:1 Called from the womb-His humanity Matthew 1:18
227. Isa. 49:5 A Servant from the womb. Luke 1:31Philippians 2:7
228. Isa. 49:6 He will restore Israel Acts 3:19-2115:16-17
229. Isa. 49:6 He is Salvation for Israel Luke 2:29-32
230. Isa. 49:6 He is the Light of the Gentiles John 8:12Acts 13:47
231. Isa. 49:6 He is Salvation unto the ends of the earth Acts 15:7-18
232. Isa. 49:7 He is despised of the Nation John 1:118:48-4919:14-15
233. Isa. 50:3 Heaven is clothed in black at His humiliation Luke 23:4445
234. Isa. 50:4 He is a learned counselor for the weary Matthew 7:2911:2829
235. Isa. 50:5 The Servant bound willingly to obedience Matthew 26:39
236. Isa. 50:6 “I gave my back to the smiters.” Matthew 27:26
237. Isa. 50:6 He was smitten on the cheeks Matthew 26:67
238. Isa. 50:6 He was spat upon Matthew 27:30
239. Isa. 52:7 Published good tidings upon mountains Matthew 5:1215:2928:16
240. Isa. 52:13 The Servant exalted Acts 1:8-11Eph. 1:19-22Php. 2:5-9
241. Isa. 52:14 The Servant shockingly abused Luke 18:31-34Mt. 26:6768
242. Isa. 52:15 Nations startled by message of the Servant Luke 18:31-34Mt. 26:6768
243. Isa. 52:15 His blood shed sprinkles nations Hebrews 9:13-14Rev. 1:5
244. Isa. 53:1 His people would not believe Him John 12:37-38
245. Isa. 53:2 Appearance of an ordinary man Philippians 2:6-8
246. Isa. 53:3 Despised Luke 4:28-29
247. Isa. 53:3 Rejected Matthew 27:21-23
248. Isa. 53:3 Great sorrow and grief Matthew 26:37-38Luke 19:41Heb. 4:15
249. Isa. 53:3 Men hide from being associated with Him Mark 14:50-52
250. Isa. 53:4 He would have a healing ministry Matthew 8:16-17
251. Isa. 53:4 Thought to be cursed by God Matthew 26:6627:41-43
252. Isa. 53:5 Bears penalty for mankind’s iniquities 2Cor. 5:21Heb. 2:9
253. Isa. 53:5 His sacrifice provides peace between man and God Colossians 1:20
254. Isa. 53:5 His sacrifice would heal man of sin 1Peter 2:24
255. Isa. 53:6 He would be the sin-bearer for all mankind 1John 2:24:10
256. Isa. 53:6 God’s will that He bear sin for all mankind Galatians 1:4
257. Isa. 53:7 Oppressed and afflicted Matthew 27:27-31
258. Isa. 53:7 Silent before his accusers Matthew 27:12-14
259. Isa. 53:7 Sacrificial lamb John 1:291Peter 1:18-19
260. Isa. 53:8 Confined and persecuted Matthew 26:47-7527:1-31
261. Isa. 53:8 He would be judged John 18:13-22
262. Isa. 53:8 Killed Matthew 27:35
263. Isa. 53:8 Dies for the sins of the world 1John 2:2
264. Isa. 53:9 Buried in a rich man’s grave Matthew 27:57
265. Isa. 53:9 Innocent and had done no violence Luke 23:41John 18:38
266. Isa. 53:9 No deceit in his mouth 1Peter 2:22
267. Isa. 53:10 God’s will that He die for mankind John 18:11
268. Isa. 53:10 An offering for sin Matthew 20:28Galatians 3:13
269. Isa. 53:10 Resurrected and live forever Romans 6:9
270. Isa. 53:10 He would prosper John 17:1-5
271. Isa. 53:11 God fully satisfied with His suffering John 12:27
272. Isa. 53:11 God’s servant would justify man Romans 5:8-918-19
273. Isa. 53:11 The sin-bearer for all mankind Hebrews 9:28
274. Isa. 53:12 Exalted by God because of his sacrifice Matthew 28:18
275. Isa. 53:12 He would give up his life to save mankind Luke 23:46
276. Isa. 53:12 Numbered with the transgressors Mark 15:27-28Luke 22:37
277. Isa. 53:12 Sin-bearer for all mankind 1Peter 2:24
278. Isa. 53:12 Intercede to God in behalf of mankind Luke 23:34Rom. 8:34
279. Isa. 55:3 Resurrected by God Acts 13:34
280. Isa. 55:4 A witness John 18:37
281. Isa. 55:4 He is a leader and commander Hebrews 2:10
282. Isa. 55:5 God would glorify Him Acts 3:13
283. Isa. 59:16a Intercessor between man and God Matthew 10:32
284. Isa. 59:16b He would come to provide salvation John 6:40
285. Isa. 59:20 He would come to Zion as their Redeemer Luke 2:38
286. Isa. 60:1-3 He would shew light to the Gentiles Acts 26:23
287. Isa. 61:1 The Spirit of God upon him Matthew 3:16-17
288. Isa. 61:1 The Messiah would preach the good news Luke 4:16-21
289. Isa. 61:1 Provide freedom from the bondage of sin John 8:31-36
290. Isa. 61:1-2 Proclaim a period of grace Galatians 4:4-5
291. Jer. 11:21 Conspiracy to kill Jesus John 7:1, Matthew 21:38
292. Jer. 23:5-6 Descendant of David Luke 3:23-31
293. Jer. 23:5-6 The Messiah would be both God and Man John 13:131Ti 3:16
294. Jer. 31:22 Born of a virgin Matthew 1:18-20
295. Jer. 31:31 The Messiah would be the new covenant Matthew 26:28
296. Jer. 33:14-15 Descendant of David Luke 3:23-31
297. Eze.34:23-24 Descendant of David Matthew 1:1
298. Eze.37:24-25 Descendant of David Luke 1:31-33
299. Dan. 2:44-45 The Stone that shall break the kingdoms Matthew 21:44
300. Dan. 7:13-14 He would ascend into heaven Acts 1:9-11
301. Dan. 7:13-14 Highly exalted Ephesians 1:20-22
302. Dan. 7:13-14 His dominion would be everlasting Luke 1:31-33
303. Dan. 9:24 To make an end to sins Galatians 1:3-5
304. Dan. 9:24 To make reconciliation for iniquity Romans 5:102Cor. 5:18-21
305. Dan. 9:24 He would be holy Luke 1:35
306. Dan. 9:25 His announcement John 12:12-13
307. Dan. 9:26 Cut off Matthew 16:2121:38-39
308. Dan. 9:26 Die for the sins of the world Hebrews 2:9
309. Dan. 9:26 Killed before the destruction of the temple Matthew 27:50-51
310. Dan. 10:5-6 Messiah in a glorified state Revelation 1:13-16
311. Hos. 11:1 He would be called out of Egypt Matthew 2:15
312. Hos. 13:14 He would defeat death 1Corinthians 15:55-57
313. Joel 2:32 Offer salvation to all mankind Romans 10:9-13
314. Jonah 1:17 Death and resurrection of Christ Matthew 12:4016:4
315. Mic. 5:2 Born in Bethlehem Matthew 2:1-6
316. Mic. 5:2 Ruler in Israel Luke 1:33
317. Mic. 5:2 From everlasting John 8:58
318. Hag. 2:6-9 He would visit the second Temple Luke 2:27-32
319. Hag. 2:23 Descendant of Zerubbabel Luke 2:27-32
320. Zech. 3:8 God’s servant John 17:4
321. Zech. 6:12-13 Priest and King Hebrews 8:1
322. Zech. 9:9 Greeted with rejoicing in Jerusalem Matthew 21:8-10
323. Zech. 9:9 Beheld as King John 12:12-13
324. Zech. 9:9 The Messiah would be just John 5:30
325. Zech. 9:9 The Messiah would bring salvation Luke 19:10
326. Zech. 9:9 The Messiah would be humble Matthew 11:29
327. Zech. 9:9 Presented to Jerusalem riding on a donkey Matthew 21:6-9
328. Zech. 10:4 The cornerstone Ephesians 2:20
329. Zech. 11:4-6 At His coming, Israel to have unfit leaders Matthew 23:1-4
330. Zech. 11:4-6 Rejection causes God to remove His protection Luke 19:41-44
331. Zech. 11:4-6 Rejected in favor of another king John 19:13-15
332. Zech. 11:7 Ministry to “poor,” the believing remnant Matthew 9:35-36
333. Zech. 11:8 Unbelief forces Messiah to reject them Matthew 23:33
334. Zech. 11:8 Despised Matthew 27:20
335. Zech. 11:9 Stops ministering to those who rejected Him Matthew 13:10-11
336. Zech. 11:10-11 Rejection causes God to remove protection Luke 19:41-44
337. Zech. 11:10-11 The Messiah would be God John 14:7
338. Zech. 11:12-13 Betrayed for thirty pieces of silver Matthew 26:14-15
339. Zech. 11:12-13 Rejected Matthew 26:14-15
340. Zech. 11:12-13 Thirty pieces of silver cast in the house of the Lord Matthew 27:3-5
341. Zech. 11:12-13 The Messiah would be God John 12:45
342. Zech. 12:10 The Messiah’s body would be pierced John 19:34-37
343. Zech. 12:10 The Messiah would be both God and man John 10:30
344. Zech. 12:10 The Messiah would be rejected John 1:11
345. Zech. 13:7 God’s will He die for mankind John 18:11
346. Zech. 13: A violent death Mark 14:27
347. Zech. 13:7 Both God and man John 14:9
348. Zech. 13:7 Israel scattered as a result of rejecting Him Matthew 26:31-56
349. Zech. 14:4 He would return to the Mt. of Olives Acts 1:11-12
350. Mal. 3:1 Messenger to prepare the way for Messiah Mark 1:1-8
351. Mal. 3:1 Sudden appearance at the temple Mark 11:15-16
352. Mal. 3:1 Messenger of the new covenant Luke 4:43
353. Mal. 3:6 The God who changes not Hebrews 13:8
354. Mal. 4:5 Forerunner in spirit of Elijah Mt. 3:1-311:10-1417:11-13
355. Mal. 4:6 Forerunner would turn many to righteousness Luke 1:16-17

Joe and the CEO

” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Psalm 19:14

When I hear or read Psalm 19: 14, I think of Joe McClaron. Joe was a retired worker for the railroad who probably had the lowest paying job in the bank (internal mail courier).  In the 70’s I was working for a small community Bank in Nashville, TN.  But, this story is about Joe.  He  was a short slightly built black man identified by the nearly all white bank as perhaps the most humble person on the face of the earth. His countenance bore a perpetual smile that forced you to at least grin regardless of the type of day you were having. Joe seemed to never experience a bad day. He was quick to tell you about the love of His God….if you asked why he was always smiling….He never pushed God on anyone, but God was right there in those bright eyes penetrating your thoughts and intents. I was a brand new Christian at the time and enjoyed many “God” conversations with Joe.  We both loved to talk about the Bible and our Lord.

Another remarkable thing about Joe was that the highest ranking person in the bank, James Webb (Chief Executive Officer/President) and Joe became great friends!  You could sense that both respected each other for their appointed portion of life. The humblest lowest paid black man and the highest paid and highly respected white man in the community were buddies and they didn’t mind showing their great love and care for each other. It was a joy to watch God’s influence on this unlikely relationship.  Many times, I would see James with his arm around Joe, both having a good laugh as they walked through the marbled lobby.

Sadly, Joe became sick and was diagnosed with stomach cancer.  He died a quick death. Almost everyone at the bank attended Joe’s funeral at his small church on the south side of Nashville.  His influence transcended race and color. For a moment that day, there were only people (no color) who came to pay their respect for Joe and the God he served everyday….with a smile….

The next day, the board room at the bank was dedicated to Joe and it became the Joe McClaron Board Room. Surprisingly, I was asked to have the dedication prayer for the room. In my prayer, I asked the Lord to instill the spirit of Joe McClaron’s life and beliefs in this room and that each one of us would learn to start our day with the same prayer Joe prayed every day,

” Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

Psalm 19:14

Often, now before I get out of bed, I start my day with these words. Today, Lord, may the words of my mouth….. Joe’s influence still reaches out to me some 40 years later.

A few years ago, James Webb died…a man full of years and still highly respected. His funeral was at the city’s largest Presbyterian church in Nashville. It had been years since I left Nashville City Bank (long since sold to another bank), but Joe’s influence remained among it’s ex-employees. We all reminisced about the wonderful relationship between Joe and James. Praise God for those who reflect the love of God in their daily lives such as Joe and James.

Thank you Lord for giving me such a wonderful memory of Joe who knew you in such a way that the joy he experienced with You influenced everyone he met. Help me to remember that the experience with you is a joyful one and that your burden is light. Let it be reflected in my eyes and my face so that people will want to know about the joy in my heart.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30….

The Story Jesus Wanted To Tell, But Couldn’t

“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
 Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”

Isaiah 60: 1-3

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The following account is based on Luke 15 and as told by Pastor Melvin K. Eisele.  The message of the story is recalled and painted as I heard it.

You are familiar with the story of Luke, but there is a twist.  If you catch it, what is the message for us as individuals and as a church?  You write the ending.

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A wealthy man had two sons and a daughter. The father gave the son a colorful coat which the son wore almost all the time.  He was so proud of its looks and the cost of the coat.  One day the younger son came to his father and asked him if he could have his inheritance now instead of waiting until later.

The father went to the bank with his son and calculated in his head how much the inheritance would be.  Then he withdrew the money from the bank and gave it to is son.  The father walked slowly and sorrowfully back to his farm as tears flowed down his face.  His beloved son Johnny was leaving home and the father knew that the world had many dangers waiting for him.  But, this was what Johnny wanted.

The day was wasting away. The father returned to his duties and the older son and daughter to theirs.  Before long Johnny came riding up on a bright shiny black stallion that pranced in high steps to show off his beauty.  The son was dressed like a king.  His posture was erect and proud.

Johnny had come back to quickly say his farewells before he headed out to the waiting world and its opportunities.  The older brother and sister helped him pack his few remaining things; all the while trying to tell Johnny that he was making a mistake.  They told him that the father was hurt and troubled over his wish to leave the safety and comfort of his home.

The son pompously  departed the property down the long road leading out into the world. The father, the older son, and the sister waved goodbye.  A remaining tear fell down the father’s face.

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Weeks went by.  Very early each morning the older son heard the opening and closing of the door to the house, but thought little of it.

Each day, the older son would see his father stop his work in the field and look down the long road as if expecting someone.  The opening and closing of the door in the early morning also continued.  Curiosity finally grew strong enough to push him out of bed.  The son walked downstairs and looked through the front window and on to the porch.  There kneeling on the porch in the dark of the young day and looking down the road was his father.  His words were soft, but his sobbing was strong.

Often when caravans would come near the property, the father would rush out to them.  He would eagerly ask if they had seen Johnny.

 “Yes, we have seen him in Babylon.  He is the life of the party! People like him and he is very popular and well-known.”

Occasionally, the father would get reports of the younger son and his eyes would grow bright knowing he is alive and well.

Then one day, another caravan came by and the father, the older son, and the daughter rushed out to ask about Johnny.

“Have you seen my son Johnny?”

“Uh, I am not sure.  He was in the city for a while, but as we passed the outskirts of town near a pig farmer, we saw someone who looked like Johnny feeding the pigs.”

The father and his small family were troubled.  The next day the older son and the daughter went searching for Johnny.  It took them several weeks to find Johnny on the outskirts of Babylon feeding the pigs.  They both encouraged Johnny to come back home, but he was too ashamed to return with them.

“Johnny,  father wants you to come back.  He is greatly troubled. Please reconsider.”

“I have many friends here and cannot return with you. My life is good. Please leave me alone.”

So with heavy hearts the brother and sister began the long ride home to their father and went about their work on the family farm.

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The father began to build houses on the property.  As the builders finished one, he would start them on another.  Much time passed and the father stopped every day to look down the road.  Each dark morning the older brother heard the opening and closing of the door downstairs.  Pretty soon the caravans had no report on Johnny.

The family was worried about Johnny.  The brother and sister thought he would never come home. Their appeal to him had failed. So the long days continued, but the father routinely continued to look.

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One day as they were working under the hot sun, the son and daughter saw their father running towards a small dot off in the distance.  They, too, began to run towards the dot anticipating it to be Johnny.  They youngsters passed their father and reached Johnny first.  He was tattered and the colors of his coat had faded.  He was skinny and dirty.  With his head down cast, he put his head on the shoulders of his brother and sister.  They were overjoyed despite the smell and the feeling of Johnny’s skinny body under the worn-out coat.

As the father came running up to Johnny, he almost fell with excitement.  His face was wet with tears of joy!

“Oh my Johnny.  My dear son!  How I have missed you!”

The strong tanned arms of the father wrapped his arms around the frail Johnny.  He pulled the  dirty smelly head of his younger son to his breast and wept aloud with his son.

The brother and father stepped back to see the scene and wept with them.  Then they rushed back to farm to instruct the workers to prepare a great feast with food and song.

Johnny had returned home!

Johnny said to his father,

“Dad, I missed you.  I have spent all the money you gave me.  I am hungry and ashamed. I have done things that has dishonored you.  I will understand if you want me to continue on.”

The father put his arm around him as they walked the long road back to the farm and the many houses he had built.

“Johnny, you are my son.  All I have is yours.”

“Dad, you are all I have or want. The world was fun for a while, but I now know that your love for me is better than anything money can buy.

After Johnny showered, the father, the older brother, and sister came to his room.  The father laid out a new and even more expensive set of clothing on the bed.  The father gently helped his weak son dress.  Johnny felt the warmth of the robe and the great feeling of being clean. But, most of all, his the sight of his father overcame the hunger from not eating a good meal in months.

That night, the family rejoiced and laughed as they ate the best food around the fire.  Johnny, had come home!  He was dead, but now he is alive!

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Let us take this message to the world.  The love and acceptance of the Father and his family.  The world is dark.  We are to let the glory of the father be upon us.  When the world sees this light, kings will come to us.

A Sheet Full of Animals-A Lesson on Prejudice

Based on Acts 10 and 11.  I urge you to read it!

“If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God? When they heard these things they become silent and they glorified God. saying, ‘Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.

Acts 11: 17-19

Peter was not much different than the typical Jew of the day.  He had prejudices against non-Jews.  This prejudice, if retained by Peter and the growing group of believers, would greatly impede (or stop) the work Jesus had commissioned to his disciples to “carry the gospel to the entire world for a witness.”  If they remained separated from the Gentiles, the believers would have imploded by focusing only on their own experience with Jesus.  They would have likely created a commune of believers keeping to themselves, congregating for themselves; keeping clear of those who would make them common and unclean.

Jesus’ example had taught them better.  They had seen Him break down barriers by talking with “sinners” and those of other cultures.

Now it happened, as He was dining in Levi’s house, that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they followed Him.

Mark 2:15

When Jesus stopped to talk with the Samaritan woman at the well, he showed he did not discriminate against this racially mixed group of people who were not of the main-stream Jewish faith. Further, he did not care that she was a woman.  He did not subscribe to the typical prejudices of those who made themselves more righteous than others.

The woman said,

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

John 4:20

Jesus response to her revealed the character of God.  He  does not limit the value of a person related to sex, race, or culture.  What matters are those who worship in spirit and truth.

 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

John 4: 23, 24

Later on Paul would agree with this when he stated,

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Galatians 3:28, 29

The lessons Jesus taught on tolerance and acceptance came hard for the Apostles, especially to Peter. This time, as shown in our opening text, Peter appears to be on the “cutting edge” of this new way of thinking and “world view.”

The inner circle of believers, the Apostles, and other believers in Jerusalem heard that Peter had been eating with “uncircumcised men”

This created one of the first controversies in the church and involved the Apostles themselves who appeared to have similar prejudices against Gentiles.  Peter and the Apostles had something to learn and it started with a man named Cornelius,

“…a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household who gave alms generously to the people and prayed to God always.”

Acts 10:1,2

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At about 3:00 PM (9th hour) Cornelius, this “non-Jew” of Italian decent was visited by an Angel.  It was commonly believed among the Jews that angels did not associate themselves with Gentiles.

Nevertheless, the angel appeared and gave directions to him to

“…send men to Joppa and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.”

Acts 10: 5

Cornelius obeyed as directed by the angel.  He sent three of those employed by him: two of his household male servants and a devout soldier from those who waited on him continually.  

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The journey from Caesarea to Joppa was a long journey by foot of about 30 to 36 miles. Walking at a purposeful, but easy pace of 2.5 miles an hour, it would have been a trip of about 12-15 hours  If they left shortly after Cornelius’ vision,  let’s say about 5:00 PM, that would be about 19 hours until they arrived at Joppa.  Time enough for a short sleep of 4 to 7 hours.  “The next day as they were on their journey and drew near the city,” Peter was on a rooftop praying.  He was very hungry and while he waited for lunch to be prepared, he went on the rooftop at noon (6th hour)

Peter fell into a trance and saw a strange vision that he did not understand.

“…he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.  And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”

 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”

And a voice spoke to him again the second time, What God has cleansed you must not call common. This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.”

Acts 10: 11-16

The term “common” was used by the Jews whenever something clean came in contact with something unclean.  The clean became “common.”

Following the words of Moses to the children of Israel,  Peter and the Jews obeyed the diet laws by refraining from eating any animal considered as unclean and eating only those God proclaimed as clean. The description of clean and unclean animals can be found in Leviticus 11.

Many people are surprised to find in the story about the animals going on to the ark by two were “unclean animals.” The “clean” animals went into the ark by seven.

You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female;

Genesis 7:2 

Despite the command to slay and eat, Peter would not and did not do as directed.

Despite an apparent easy message, Peter did not understand the meaning of this vision.  Was this a vision about diet?  Was God telling him it was OK to eat unclean animals because God had made them clean now?

A cursory reading of this is used by many as a vision about diet, but we will see that Peter understood it differently after going through a period of wonder about its meaning.

“Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.”

Acts 10:17

Notice that the sheet was let down three times.  This is a significant number to Peter because he had denied the Lord three times and the Lord asked Peter three times if he loved him.  Then Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my sheep.”

The fact that the sheet was let down three times seems to indicate Peter’s need to fully understand the significance of the repetitive act.  Peter like many of us tend to be a little hard-headed and need the repetition before we “get it.”  Often when something is repeated by the Lord, it means it is very important.  Was a change in diet an important event?

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Peter greets the messengers sent from Cornelius. They stay the night with Peter and they all leave the next day to see Cornelius. Peter invites some of the disciples with him. They travel the long trip back to Caesarea where Cornelius is waiting for them.

Somewhere along the way, the meaning of the vision becomes clear to Peter.  When Peter greets Cornelius, he discloses (almost immediately)  the meaning of the sheet with the many different creatures:

“You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Acts 10:28

The barriers set up by mankind and their religion was beginning to break down under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The vision was not about diet, but a very important message of acceptance of all people so the message could go to everyone in the world.  It taught Peter something different than how he was raised. It was a message the early church needed to hear and know so their commission to go into all the world was not slowed by petty prejudices.

When Peter tells the story of Jesus to Cornelius and his household, they believe and they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Those who came with Peter were astonished that the Holy Spirit was given to these Gentile believers! Like Peter, they needed to understand that God does not discriminate.

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.  And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.  For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God.”

Acts 10: 44-46

Then Peter does something very much prohibited by the laws of the Jews.  He stays with them a few days!

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In the next Chapter of Acts (Acts 11), Peter is in Judea with the Apostles (those originally with Jesus) and other believers.  They all are astonished like those who were with Peter at Cornelius’ house.  You can hear in their exclamation of disdain for what Peter had done!

You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”

Acts 11: 3

Peter then explained his vision to them.  At the end, Peter asks a serious question about the lesson he learned about prejudice and acceptance,

“….who was I that I could withstand God?”

When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.”

Acts 11:17, 18

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Prejudice toward the Gentile slowly gave way. In this story, it gave way quickly…or did it? The believers were beginning to see that “….there is neither Jew nor Greek in Christ….”The separation of Jew and Gentile had been a tradition for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They were looked upon as “inferior” in many ways. Also, the laws contained in ordinances would give way. Their job as the School Master to bring people to Christ was finished. Type had met anti-type. We now have the reality of Christ in the shadows that pointed forward to the work of Jesus.

“…which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.”

Colossians 2:17

Later in Galatians 2: 11-16, Paul calls out Peter for being hypocritical in his understanding about the separation of Jews and Gentiles.  I’ll save that story for another time.  But,  it points out that old prejudices are hard to break.

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How tough it must have been for tradition to be overcome, especially among those older and set in their ways, But, as Peter explained his vision of the sheet, many were convicted and “glorified God.” by changing their way of thinking.

Truth never changes, but are there traditions in the church that need to give way? Are there prejudices against women for example. Do we believe, “there is neither male nor female in Christ…”

For hundreds, if not thousands, of years there has been traditions in the church about women….Do those traditions need to give way? Can the holy spirit and the burden of pastoral ministry be laid on the heart of a female?  Will their ordination help speed up the spreading of the gospel to the entire world or will it impede its progress?  Let us trust God with our prejudices.

Maybe the Lord needs to send us a vision of the sheet? Maybe we should ask the same question as Peter, “Who am I that I should withstand God?”

This I know,

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven,..” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Brothers and sisters, we need to hear from heaven. Is not God calling us to pull out all the stops to reach this dying world?

Father, please hear our prayer for wisdom and guidance. Not our will, but Yours be done. Let us not withstand you if you are calling us to put away traditions and prejudices that prohibit the spreading of the gospel.

A Lame Man Walks-Why Do You Wonder?

Please read Acts Chapter 3

“Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this?”

Acts 3:12

It is tempting to let the story of the lame man overshadow the “meat” of Acts 3. In fact, Peter seems to down-play this miracle of healing when he says,

“Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk?”

Acts 3:12

Peter immediately directs the eyes of the people towards Jesus and away from himself and even the lame man!

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The book of Acts is a continuation of the book of Luke (Both written by Luke).  As a physician, Luke must have been impressed by this healing. No doubt he had seen many people with similar problems, but could do little about it.  Perhaps he only prescribed something for the pain.  But, in a moment, this man’s ankles, legs, and feet became strong and he began to leap in his joy!

What a feeling it must have been to both walk and jump after spending his entire life on a dirty mat, assisted by family and strangers!  Despite this miracle, Peter points the people to something even more fantastic.  They are about to hear things they have never heard before!  It will change their lives and they will be able to walk too!

There is a powerful theme in this chapter that is eternal.  Its teaching is a critical part of the command of Jesus to:

“Go into all the world and preach the GOSPEL to every creature…” Mark 16: 15.

What is the good news? All its elements are found in Peter’s short sermon. Sadly, some of these elements are left out by many gospel workers today and, therefore, the power of the gospel is left incomplete.

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Peter begins to tell the crowd who wondered at the healing of the lame man the bad news. He reminds them that their sin crucified the “Prince of Life.”  But, there is good news:

They did it out of ignorance and the Lord knew it would happen and revealed it ahead of time through His prophets!

“But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.”

Acts 3: 18

At the end of the first letter to Theophilus (Book of Luke), Luke told the story of how Jesus explained to the disciples about Himself as found in the Tanakh (what we call the Old Testament) See Luke 24. This was the day after the Resurrection and, perhaps, took Jesus hours to explain because there was so much material.

 Jesus’s Bible study along with His resurrection from the dead, made the disciples bold and full of faith. They were no longer afraid and almost all of them would die proclaiming the message of Jesus.  It is in this type of Bible study given by Jesus where people are first educated on the scripture and then converted.  It is the most effective method of turning non-believers unto believers.

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True conversion comes from a knowledge of Jesus through God’s word!  Conversion should come in this order:  Facts about Jesus, Faith  in Jesus, then Feelings of joy and peace in Jesus.

  Facts (God’s word) give the basis for Faith (Trust) and Faith gives the basis for Feeling (conviction, joy, desire to obey) that comes last.  Now it is not to say that some tragic event or feeling will lead someone to begin to look for facts about Jesus, but a knowledge of Jesus is the first step in true conversion.  Wouldn’t you agree?  How often has this order been shuffled resulting in a confused and weak convert?

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Conviction and spiritual eyesight will arise when people hear the story of Jesus and how it was foretold through the

“Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms”

(Luke 24:44)

In this chapter, Peter “connects the dots” for these people who are in wonder of the lame man being healed. Peter reminds the people about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and God’s promise to bless the entire earth through Abraham’s seed. Then he reminds them how Pilate wanted to let Jesus go, but they chose a murderer over the “Holy and Righteous One.” Peter gives them hope by acknowledging the prayer of Jesus as He hung on the cross,

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Luke 23:34

Peter concurs with that prayer, which he heard from a distance….The people, as well as the rulers, did their dirty deeds out of “ignorance!”

Then Peter begins to tell them the good news.  He  tells them the same thing Jesus told them,

“But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled.”

Acts 3: 18

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Now it is decision time. Peter has an alter call. A sermon like this needs a response.

“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus…”

Acts 3:29

Peter is offering them an opportunity to respond to what they just heard and to rid themselves of the ugly acts of sin. Their scarlet sins can be blotted out and Jesus will refresh them by coming into their lives (the new birth). Then he reminds them that although Jesus has gone away, He will come again and “restore all things.”

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The good news is simple, but it should always contain the 10 elements that Peter used here in the 3rd chapter and in his sermon in the 2nd chapter where 3,000 were added to the church:

1.) All of us are sinners and we will die eternally. (Bad news)

2.) Our sins (out of ignorance of the word) sent Jesus to the cross to die. (Bad news).  The good news is that His word is available to all.

3.) Jesus is found in the Old Testament as well as the new. (Prophecy).

4.) God foretold that that Jesus must suffer. He did it willingly for us. (Justification)

5.) Jesus was raised. Without this, we have no hope. (Resurrection)

6.) Repent for your sins and be converted. Refreshing (new birth) will come. Your life will be changed! (Sanctification)

7.) Be baptized as a public acknowledgment of your desire to follow Jesus (Obedience).  

8.) Rise to walk in newness of your new life in Christ. (Change your lifestyle)

9.) Depend on Jesus daily.  Heaven has received Jesus (Ongoing ministry of Jesus in Heaven. See Hebrews)

10.) Jesus is coming again to restore all things. The redeemed will all live in a new heaven and a new earth!  See Isaiah 66:22-23

When the gospel is presented (it may take some time) and people hear the entire story of Jesus, they will feel the pull of the Holy Spirit to make a decision for Christ.

“If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself.”

John 12:32

Today if you hear His voice and feel the knocking at the door to your heart, yield to the pull and do not resist.  Ask Him to take over your life….a life that has been marked by bad decisions and mistakes.  He will give you rest and peace.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Revelation 3:20

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Breakfast With Jesus

Breakfast by The Sea

John 21: 1-17

It is after the Resurrection and before Pentecost. The disciples seem to have some time on their hands. 7 of the disciples are together: Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John (Sons of Thunder-Mark 3:17) and two others (not named).

Peter jumps up and says, “I’m going fishing.” Peter can’t stand to sit still. He is like many of us; we must be busy. So the others follow and they spend the night fishing and talking on a calm sea. The thousands that would often line the shore to see Jesus are not there. The disciples are still young in the faith despite having spent over 3 years with Jesus.

In the light of the cool early morning, Jesus comes to visit them for the third time. He has been busy building a fire and getting the wood hot enough to turn them to coals. A perfect fire for cooking and warming cold hands and bodies. From the boat, Jesus is small in the distance, but John is able to recognize Him and tells Peter that it is the Lord! John has been the most intimate with Jesus. He would often lovingly lay his head on the warm chest of the Redeemer, so he is able to recognize the form and mannerisms of his Lord better than the others.

But, Peter (always the dramatic and impetuous one because of his intense feelings), jumped into the water in his underwear to swim to Jesus. The boat was too slow in reaching the shore. There Jesus had breakfast ready with fish and bread.

The Lord cares about his hunger and warmth. Jesus loves Peter and wants to encourage Him because He knows that one day Peter would give his life on a cross for Him. Instead of fighting and cutting off someone’s ear, he would let them take him away.

After a filling and satisfying breakfast, as the warm sun is coming up, they walk down the shore with the others just behind them. Jesus looks at Peter and asks him three times if he loves Him. Jesus knows Peter’s feelings, but He asks for Peter’s sake. The questions and the answers teach Peter a lesson of commitment to others. “Feed my sheep.”

The Lord still walks the shores wanting to have breakfast with us. There is something special about rising early to meet Jesus for breakfast, but can we recognize that He is there? Does someone who knows him intimately have to tell us?

Jesus may not be able to be seen or heard as in this story, but we can know that He is there by the knocking. Jesus said,

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Revelation 3:20

Brothers and Sisters, I see no reason to think that this verse is a one time event at the beginning of our experience. Jesus knocks at my door often. How about you? It is He calling us away from the others to talk with us and encourage us.

Each morning, I hear the knocking. He is waiting to warm me and feed me. Thank you Lord. “You know all things; you know that I love you.”

“Feed My lambs.”

“The first work that Christ entrusted to Peter on restoring him to the ministry was to feed the lambs. This was a work in which Peter had little experience. It would require great care and tenderness, much patience and perseverance. It called him to minister to those who were young in the faith, to teach the ignorant, to open the Scriptures to them, and to educate them for usefulness in Christ’s service. Heretofore Peter had not been fitted to do this, or even to understand its importance. But this was the work which Jesus now called upon him to do. For this work his own experience of suffering and repentance had prepared him.” Desire of Ages, p 814